Destrehan, Hahnville head into DISTRICT PLAY
The two rivals will fight for one of three playoff spots
And both coaches agree that moving to 1-0 in district play will be a difficult challenge.
"Hahnville has won the last three district championship and I think they are the team to beat in our district," Destrehan head coach Marty Luquet said. "Talent wise, they have a deep group."
Hahnville head coach Kade Rogers is equally complimentary of Destrehan.
"We have to be good defensively and play our game to beat them," Rogers said. "We can't get caught up in the hype of the Hahnville-Destrehan rivalry."
Though both teams have similar records right now, with Hahnville at 13-6 and Destrehan sitting at 12-7, they have gone about reaching those marks in completely different ways.
Hahnville started out white hot to begin the year, cruising to an 11-1 record before falling to Zachary 9-5. That loss marked the beginning of a slide for the Tigers, who then lost four of their next five games.
"Defensively, we need a lot of improvement because we've had 26 errors in the last seven games," Rogers said. "We've excelled offensively this season, but we need a lot of work on defense."
Destrehan, meanwhile, started out the year 1-3 with losses to Parkview Baptist, West Monroe and Zachary.
However, the Wildcats righted the ship after that and have won six of their last seven games over the last two weekends. Included in those wins was a huge victory over Jesuit.
Destrehan's Trey Watkins had a superman-like performance in that game, blasting four home runs and accounting for nine runs. One of his home runs came in the ninth inning and proved to be the winning shot in a 13-12 victory.
But while Hahnville needs improvement defensively, Destrehan has shined in that area, though they have struggled from the plate somewhat, with the team currently batting at .273.
"We are not swinging the bats like the Destrehan teams of the past, but we have still been able to be successful," Luquet said.
"We have gotten some timely hits, great pitching and we have played great defense."
One thing is certain, both teams will have to play as well as possible during district play if they hope to capture one of the three playoff spots.
All of the teams in the district, which also includes St. Amant, East St. John, East Ascension and Dutchtown made the playoffs last year, and Rogers thinks that five of those teams are capable of winning the state championship this season.
"The district is extremely tough," Rogers said. "I call it the SEC South. I'd say the players are excited about opening up district play because it brings a new challenge.
"In our district, you can't take a day off."
"Its been referred to as the SEC by other coaches and I think it will be a real challenge, but one that we look forward to," he said. "We start off every year by saying we want to be state champs, and in this district, you have to earn it.
"We will be tested because the tradition of the six teams that make up this district is tremendous."
And Luquet will be happy to get that first district game with rival Hahnville out of the way.
"One team is going to be 1-0 and the other will be 0-1, but after that, you can get down to the business at hand, which is qualifying for state," he said. "This is such a great rivalry and its fun for the players, fans and the coaches.
"We're going to have to play at our best and get some breaks to pull out a win."
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